Back to the Drawing Board

Sadly, a vote to override the Governor’s veto of GAMC restoration has failed in the house.  While 38 Republican members joined the DFL in voting for the bill originally, none were willing to vote for override.

While we are disappointed not to see a solution for GAMC, we are hopeful that this action will send people back to the drawing board to come up with a new plan.  The important thing to remember is that while partisan issues that bogged down this particular solution, there is broad recognition that there needs to be some kind of fix.  Consumers, hospital groups, county representatives, and legislators all know that we need some mechanism to provide and pay for critical care for the poor.

In Executive Director Ed Eide’s testimony to the Health and Human Services Committee of the MN Senate, he explained how uncompensated care functions as a tax on everyone who gets medical care in the state.  Hospitals and clinics must make up the cost of uncompensated care, and will do so with patient dollars.  The question is how fairly will we distribute this cost.  There is some indication that the compromise would be a managed care proposal, not a fee-for-service model.  We believe it is important to remember that while some GAMC recipients have chronic care issues that require frequent care, many are visiting emergency rooms only when their condition has substantially deteriorated.

We know by the number of unclaimed notification of coverage letters that the state has been making payments for managed care that homeless recipients were not benefiting from.  We encourage lawmakers to carefully consider the varying needs of GAMC recipients to understand what models of care will work best to reduce costs.

Thank you to everyone who contacted their legislators on this important issue.  We will continue to watch for new proposals, and speak out for those who rely on this safety net.